Theft of Victoria’s Secret trade dress
Trade dress is the distinctive packaging or design of a product that promotes the product and distinguishes it from other products in the marketplace — for example, the shape of a perfume bottle. Trade dress can be protected under trademark law if a showing can be made that the average consumer would likely be confused as to product origin if another product were allowed to appear in similar dress.
Since 2010 Victoria’s Secret has been fighting to protect the trade dress of its Secret Garden body lotion product line. The battle started when Victoria’s Secret started using Natures Formula lotion as their supplier. Lead by George Mitchell, Victoria’s Secret would simply purchase Mr. Mitchell’s Nature’s Formula lotion and put Victoria’s Secret label on it. All was fine and dandy, until George Mitchell left Natures Formula and worked for a competitor’s company, United I, where he developed an almost identical body lotion bottle called VS Secrets of Romance. Once Victoria’s Secret got a whiff Mr. Mitchell’s attempt to copy the look of their bottle Victoria’s Secret got a court order preventing Mr. Mitchell from selling the lookalikes. The stubborn Mr. Mitchell didn’t stop there, he left United I and worked with another company called FB Botanicals in order to sell the infringing bottles under a different brand name. When will he stop! Seriously is he short lotion, if so I have some Lubriderm in my bathroom that he could use. (hint: watch who you work)